How to Prune Trees and Shrubs | NatureHills.com

  1. #ProPlantTips For Low Maintenance Landscaping

    Plant a low maintenance garden with help from Nature Hills

    Many of us struggle to grow a beautiful (but high maintenance) garden. Between work, family and other responsibilities, it’s simply hard to find the time.

    Rather than let your garden fall by the wayside, consider making some small changes to save you time and hassle in the long run. Use these low maintenance landscaping tips, so you can spend more time enjoying your garden, and less time maintaining it.

    Low Maintenance Landscaping Tips & Strategies

    Use mulch

    Mulch is a must-have for a successful, low maintenance garden. It looks great, and gives garden beds a nice, finished look, but it does so much more:

    • Mulch helps prevent weeds
    • Mulch acts like a blanket, insulating plants from extreme heat and cold
    • Mulch keeps moisture i
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  2. How to Prune and Train Espalier Fruit Trees

    Tips to Prune and Train Espalier Fruit Trees

    It's fun to grow healthy homegrown fruit on a sturdy trellis. The ancient technique called Espalier allows for a full harvest in a small space planting.

    Espalier is now being done on Apples, Apricots, Citrus, Cherries, Figs, Nectarines Pears, Peaches, Persimmons, Pomegranate and Plums. There are few varieties of fruit that cannot be trained to grow flat. Citrus is ideal for espalier.

    Watch as our High Density Backyard Orchard Culture Expert, Ed Laivo, walks you through the steps to prune and train a young pear tree growing as an espalier on a sturdy trellis.

    You'll learn how far to trim back, how to tie down limbs to direct growth. You'll also see what kind of tools are required

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  3. When Do I Prune My Roses?

    Try Climbing Roses and Clematis Together

    In this blog, you'll get expert how-to's on growing the biggest, prettiest roses possible. This really means taking the time to carefully prune your roses each year

    And we'll give you some inspiration, too. Take a look at the hottest design trend, partnering your climbing roses with companion plants like Clematis vines. Gorgeous! 

    Read on to learn more.

    A Quick Review of Tips to Overwinter Roses

    In the Northern cold winter states, roses go completely dormant and need winter protection.

    We have found the best way to overwinter Hybrid

    Read more »
  4. How to Care For Your Gorgeous Magnolia Tree

    Care for flowering Magnolia tree

    Magnolias are relatively pest free and easy to grow and care for. Read on for care tips from the Nature Hills Horticulture team.

    Select the Right Site for Your Magnolia

    Pick the right Magnolia variety that fits the space in your yard. Be sure to check the Plant Highlights on every product page for the hardiness zone to ensure it will grow where you live.

    Make sure the soil is well drained and that your new Magnolia will get more than half a day of sun for best flowering. 

    Ideal growing conditions? Easy!  A rich, moist, well drained soil with an even moisture supply is suggested, but know they are very adaptable. 

    How to Improve Your Soil Conditions

    Perhaps you don’t have ideal c

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  5. Simple Tricks to Make Blueberries Easy to Grow

    Grow healthy blueberries at home

    We asked our Horticulture Team for their best Tips and Tricks for growing healthy, delicious, gorgeous Blueberries in a permaculture garden. People across the country can successfully grow these wonderful bushes. 

    There are 5 main growth habits of Blueberries, including: Northern Highbush, Southern Highbush, Lowbush, Hybrid Half-high and Rabbiteyes. These varieties range widely in chill hours, cold hardiness, different fruiting seasons, size, and flavors.

    Selecting the right variety is key to successfully growing blueberries. Nature Hills offers many varieties, and one will work best for your area.

    Zones 3 and 4 can grow Half-Highs, including Northblue, Northcountry and Polaris.

    Zones 5 and 6 can reliably grow Northern Highbush (Vaccinium

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  6. Yes, You Can Grow Fruit Trees in a Small Yard

    Grow Apples on an espalier trellis for easier harvest

    In today’s health conscious and Instagram-ready world, the desire to grow fresh fruit and vegetables has never been greater. We’ve seen the beautiful photos of the carefully grown crops after harvest, and we want that same benefit for ourselves, our families, friends and neighbors.

    Using Size Control For More Manageable Fruit Trees

    Even if you select semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties, you still need to understand that pruning is one the most important aspects of growing a fruit tree.

    Commercial growers use aggressive pruning techniques to control the size of a fruit tree, which results in more trees planted per acre (and a quicker return on their investment!) Keeping the trees at lower heights also makes it safer for workers and

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  7. Get More Fruit in Small Yards With High Density Planting

    Watch as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, tells us about a tried and true technique that is perfect for the backyard gardener.

    Called "High Density Planting", or "Backyard Orchard Culture", watch as Ed explains the concept and the benefits of planting 3 partner fruit trees together in 1 hole. Benefits include easier cross-pollination and extending the season of ripe fruit.

    Call us to talk about which partner fruit trees are right for your garden: 1-888-864-7663

    Learn how to keep your High Density Plantings pruned for size control

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  8. How To Prune Crape Myrtles Without Murdering Them

    How NOT to prune your Crape Myrtle

    Ouch! This picture shows a horrible "Crape Murder."

    Please, don't use heading or topping cuts to pollard Crape Myrtles, it's just won't give you that natural look you want. You'll also avoid creating those knobby knuckles, which sadly wreck the appearance of that beautiful Crape Myrtle bark.

    Instead, let's watch Ed Laivo, one of Nature Hills horticulturalists, as he gives valuable information on how to correctly prune this beautiful tree.

    The Right Way to Prune a Crape Myrtle

    The goal is to get air circulation and sunlight into the canopy of the tree. You also want to allow your Crape Myrtle to showcase the beautiful bark as part of its character.

    In the video, you'll learn when to prune Crape Myrtles, and get a step-by-step approach to determine your pruning plan. Hint, start

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  9. Are Elderberries Safe to Eat, Or Are They Poisonous?

    Are Elderberries Safe to Eat, Or Are They Poisonous?

    People are on the hunt for native plants that produce healthy berries. Today’s homeowner wants to take advantage of plants that provide edible – and ornamental – benefits.

    Elderberry is also commonly known as “Sambucus” and you can find extracts and a dried version in pill form at any health food store. Historically, cooked Elderberry Syrup has been used as chest remedies to treat colds and flu.

    Even though it’s touted for both immune support and to reduce the severity of colds, you may have heard that Elderberries are poisonous.

    Here’s why. The leaves, stems and roots of the plants as well as the seeds in the berries have chemicals which metabolize into cyanide. Eating the raw seeds can cause a build-up of cyanide in the body and make you ill.

    Many edible plants

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  10. Pruning 101 from the Nature Hills Horticultural Team

    The goal of pruning is to improve the overall health and usefulness of a plant:

    • Prune to correct broken or damaged branches.
    • Prune to remove diseased portions of a plant.
    • Prune to control the size and shape of a plant.
    • Prune fruit trees to keep it easier to harvest the delicious fruit.

    Pruning by the Pros

    Plant materials grown by a quality grower will have been pruned correctly from the start, so you shouldn’t need to worry about corrective pruning for a while. A good example is shrubs. Plant nursery staff work to encourage branching lower to the ground, so the plants don’t have voids and aren’t "leggy". For trees, the nurseries prune for nice straight single leaders and uniform, open branching.

    Tree Pruning Tips

    After you plant your trees, you should pay attention to your plants as they

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